Leaving a dog alone
Best ways for leaving a dog alone at home with him becoming bored and misbehavedOur pets love us. They want to spend every waking moment together. Yet, outside responsibilities tend to take us away from the home: work, school, kids' activities, and more. Our pets, many times, don't get to come along for the fun.
In many cases, there can be separation anxiety or boredom associated with leaving a dog alone in your home or apartment. These feelings can manifest as chewed furniture, torn up shoes, special deposits on the rug and/or carpeting, barking during the day, whining if put out in the back, and other bothersome activities.
So, what is there to do about these potential problem behaviors? Below, we'll take insight from dog-trainer-extraordinaire Cesar Milan's blog, as well as check in with PetPlace on ways in which to combat these troublesome behaviors so you can leave your pet alone with the utmost confidence.
How to Cut Down on Separation Anxiety
Pulling from an article on Cesar's Way, writer Joe Wilkes enumerates potential ways in which to cut down on stress in a dog's life. He says if you can fit it in, take your pet for a brisk walk around the block or play throw with him at a nearby park. Do whatever it takes to have an exercise regimen in place.
Without it, you'll have both an anxious pet and a hyper maniac, home alone, without any supervision. This, according to Wilkes (and every pet owner alive who's experienced the aftermath) is a recipe for disaster. Fit exercise into your pet's day at all costs.
If it's difficult for you to fit in exercise on a regular basis, think about hiring a canine walker to take your pet out around lunch time for a little bit of excitement and exercise. If you don't feel like paying for a professional to walk your pet, there's always the neighborhood kid, teenager, or out of work recent college grad, as well.
They might do it for pennies on the dollar -- Or they might do it for free, just wanting to be helpful. Either way, your pooch gets out, the boredom of the day is mitigated, and you have a happy, healthy pet waiting for you on your return home. Dog toys can also help to alleviate the boredom of the day, giving your pooch a healthy diversion as they tear apart the toy instead of your new $700 leather sofa.
A final idea could be to add another pet to the mix; this will provide company, but can also add problems to the situation if they don't get along, one is more dominant, etc. For those looking to options outside of the home, day care could work, but tends to be a more expensive option for the owner.
A Doggy Door
Another idea is to add a pet door to your humble abode. Whether added to a sliding glass door, wooden door, wall, window, or other such formerly impenetrable object, the pet door can give your animal a way to stretch its legs in your enclosed back yard, handle his or her business outdoors, and give them a change in scenery.
If you'll be gone for long stretches during the day -- say from 8 in the morning to 5 at night due to a hectic work schedule -- the pet door can be a Godsend. There are a wide variety of products for animal owners.
In the end, after a particularly stressful day at work, the kids screaming over who gets to sit in the front seat, the husband watching professional football at home, chip crumbs emblazoned across the front of his shirt -- It's nice to come home to a more mellow animal after leaving a dog alone for the day. And no surprises on the floor, too!
Cesar's Way: Dog Separation Anxiety from Leaving Dog Alone.
PetPlace.com: Dogs Home Alone.